Schuyler County Library District

Collection Development Policy

Policy concerning how the library selects materials
  1. Objectives

The purpose of the Schuyler County Library District is to provide all individuals in the community with carefully selected books and other materials to aid the individual in the pursuit of education, information, research, pleasure, and the creative use of leisure time.

Because of the volume of publishing, as well as the limitations of budget and space, the library must have a selection policy with which to meet community interests and needs.

The materials selection/collection development policy is used by the library staff in the selection of materials and also serves to acquaint the general public with the principles of selection.

The Library Bill of Rights and The Freedom to Read Statement have been endorsed by the Schuyler County Library District, Board of Trustees and are integral parts of the policy.

The materials selection/collection development policy, like all other policies, will be reviewed and/or revised as the need arises.

  1. Responsibility for Selection

The ultimate responsibility for selection of library materials rests with the library director who operates within the framework of the policies determined by the Schuyler County Library District, Board of Trustees. This responsibility may be shared with other members of the library staff; however, because the director must be available to answer to the library board and the general public for actual selections made, the director has the authority to reject or select any item contrary to the recommendations of the staff.

  1. Criteria for Selection
  2. The main points considered in the selection of materials are:
    • individual merit of each item
    • popular appeal/demand
    • suitability of material for the clientele
    • existing library holdings
    • budget
  3. Reviews are a major source of information about new materials.
  4. The lack of a review or an unfavorable review shall not be the sole reason for rejecting a title, which is in demand. Consideration is, therefore, given to requests from library patrons and books discussed on public media. Materials are judged on the basis of the work as a whole, not on a part taken out of context.
D. Guidelines for Evaluation and Selection of Library Resources
  1. Materials must be relevant to today’s world, reflecting problems, aspirations, attitudes, and ideals of society.
  2. Materials must be needed and of value to the collection
  3. Materials must be representative of differing viewpoints on controversial subjects
  4. Materials must be representative or artistic, historic, and literary qualities or significance of author or producer
  5. Materials must be clear and accurate with the scope of text or audiovisual presentation appropriate to the needs of the users
  6. Materials must be of quality format and value, commensurate with cost and or need
  7. Materials must provide a stimulus to creativity


  1. E. Procedure for Selection
  2. Evaluate the existing collection
  3. Assess needs
  4. Examine materials
  5. Consult reputable, professionally prepared selection aids
  6. Solicit and consider recommendations for acquisitions from patrons
  7. Remove obsolete materials from the collection since selection is an ongoing process.
  8. Weeding

An up-to-date, attractive and useful collection is maintained through a continual withdrawal and replacement process. Replacement of worn volumes is dependent upon current demand, usefulness, more recent acquisitions, and availability of newer editions. This ongoing process of weeding is the responsibility of the library director and is authorized by the Schuyler County Library District Board of Trustees. Withdrawn materials will be handled in a similar manner and under the same authority as donated materials.  Both print and non-print materials should be reviewed and evaluated at regular intervals to determine if they are to remain in the current collection.

  1. G. Suggested Criteria for Weeding
  2. Record of use-item has not circulated for a number of years
  3. Currency-the subject matter is out-of-date, factually inaccurate, or no longer relevant to current times; illustrations are outmoded or perpetuate gender, racial, or cultural stereotypes
  4. Technical Quality-non-print materials with poor visuals, faded or off color visuals; faculty or inferior sound reproductions
  5. Dispensability-duplicate copies or duplicates no longer needed in the collection
  6. Physical Condition-the item is torn, soiled or worn, pages or parts are missing
  7. Poor purchase-material purchased that were not quality items and or items not appropriate
  8. Reliability-non-fiction item which contains factual information inconsistent with other sources
  9. Short-lived topics-the item is faddish and no longer of interest
  10. Subject Areas-the information is not timely
  11. Dewey Decimal Balance-the item is unneeded to balance the collection

Some information should not be discarded even though it meets one or more of the criteria listed.

            An item should NOT be discarded if

  1. It is a work of historical significance in the field of literature
  2. It has unusual illustrations or the illustrations are by a well-known artist
  3. It is a work by a local author or illustrator
  4. It describes local history or personalities
  5. It is a memorial gift

Potential Problems or Challenges

The Schuyler County Library District recognizes that some materials are controversial and that any given item may offend some patrons. Selection of materials will not be made on the basis of anticipated approval or disapproval, but solely on the basis of the principles stated in this policy.

Responsibility for the reading of children rests with their parents or legal guardians. Selection of library materials will not be inhibited by the possibility that materials may come into the possession of children.

Library materials will not be marked or identified to show approval or disapproval of their contents, and no library material will be sequestered except to protect it from damage or theft.

Challenged Materials

Although materials are carefully selected, there can arise differences of opinion regarding suitable materials. Patrons requesting that material be withdrawn from or restricted within the collection may complete a "Statement of Concern About Library Resources" form, which is available in the library. The inquiry will be placed on the agenda of the next regular meeting of the Schuyler County Library District Board of Trustees.

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